Tributaries in the River of Light

By: Ben Coffman


Oregon, USA

2016 January 10


A Notable Photo of the 2016 International Earth & Sky Photo Contest
From the photographer: "Despite the galactic center of the Milky Way not being visible, I really like taking night-sky photos in the wintertime, especially in Oregon, when clear winter nights are very rare. On this particular evening at Hug Point, Oregon, the crab boats were out, and their incredibly bright sodium vapor lights actually ruined several exposures for me, as they occasionally turned their boats so that their lights were pointing right at the shore. Even though they were very far away, the lights were bright enough to cause lens flare and cast strange shadows. Despite all this, the conditions that night were incredible. Strong zodiacal light persisted over two hours after sunset, and faint red airglow was visible. The stars were incredibly clear and bright. And because of recent rains, the Hug Point waterfall, found on the left side of the panorama, was really roaring. I really liked the meeting of different types of light and water, so I composed the photo so that the water running from the falls entered the ocean at the V-shaped division of zodiacal light and the Milky Way, which is where the title (“Tributaries in the river of light”) comes from.
Technical details: 24mm, 20 seconds, aperture unrecorded, ISO 6400, modified Canon 6D, Nodal Ninja 4 pano head, Panorama made up of 27 single exposures (3 rows of 9)
Ben Coffman

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